A VHH antibody or a single domain antibody (sdAb) isolated from camelids also known as Nanobody®*, is a novel class of monoclonal antibodies. VHHs are smaller and more stable than conventional antibodies, yet they possess fully functional antigen-binding capacity. The camelid variable region is composed of one domain on the heavy chain, in contrast to conventional vertebrates antibodies which contain both heavy and light chains.

Due to its size (a mere size 15 kDa), VHH can reach, recognize and bind novel epitopes that regular size antibodies cannot. Nanobody usage is becoming a common contributor to research methods, partly due to its extremely versatile composition and incredibly robust characteristics.

Advantages of VHH:

• Smallest functional antibody unit about ~15 kDa, than conventional antibody is ~150 kDa

• Enhanced tissue penetration, can cross the blood-brain barrier

• Unique binding capacity to small cavities or clefts

• High affinity and specificity

• Highly stable under extreme temperature and pH

• High solubility, great imaging agents due to rapid clearance in vivo

Can be readily selected and produced in bacteria

• Cost-effective, virtually unlimited supply at constant high quality without batch-to-batch variations

* The trademark "Nanobody" belongs to Ablynx

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